The Two Lives of St. Isaac Cathedral

Due to decades of Soviet Communist rule, something startling happened to cathedrals and churches across the Russian Federation. With its chief creed of having no religion except the ideology of socialism, all churches within the vast Soviet empire were secularized; meaning they were stripped of their religious significance and turned into museums.

* And what's truly amazing about all of this is that these churches are not just simple places of worship; a lot of them are among the largest, grandest, and most majestic churches on earth!

* One such former place of worship turned museum is the imposing Cathedral of St. Isaac located in St. Petersburg, Russia.

* The Cathedral is the focal point of St. Isaac Square, a major city square that also contains the Mariinsky Palace (right) which was the last Imperial residence to be constructed in St. Petersburg, before the fall of the Russian Tsar.

* As well as this remarkably detailed equestrian monument to Tsar Nicholas I, Emperor of Russia from 1825 to 1855 and also King of Poland and Grand Duke of Finland.

* Have a European City, see a statue of an important man on horseback!

* Of course, being a major tourist attraction, actors (cosplayers?) can be found all over the square, ready to pose for the cameras of willing tourists, for a fee of course!

* When I said that the Cathedral is imposing and grand, I really did mean it!

* Prepare for your jaw to drop at the spectacle of the Cathedral's interior!

* Built in 1858, the Cathedral was named after St. Isaac of Dalmatia.

* Founder of the Dalmatian Monastery in Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) and important saint of both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches.

* St. Isaac of Dalmatia was also the patron saint of Emperor Peter the Great, who also named him to be the patron saint of Russia's famous imperial family, the Romanovs.


* The Cathedral easily rivals her sister churches across Europe in grandeur.

* And despite being a former place of worship of the Russian Orthodox, the structure shares a lot of similarities with its Roman Catholic cousins.

* Not sure anymore which ones are actual devotees, and which ones are tourists!

* But all have come to gaze in amazement and develop a sense of perspective for how truly small we are in the greater scheme of things.

* Interior drone shots would probably be out of this world in here!

* Hard to believe that this place is but a museum for the Russian people!

* Welcome All Ye Faithful!

* A few blocks from the Cathedral stands the Bronze Horseman, an equestrian statue dedicated to the aforementioned Peter the Great.

* The statue rests on a pedestal known as the Thunder Stone, known to be the largest stone ever moved by human beings. Man, them Russians sure go big don't they?


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